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Update: The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative Begins Work on New Compounds to Fill Early-Stage TB Drug Pipeline
Date:10/7/2008

U.S. National Institutes of Health, The Infectious Disease Research Institute and Eli Lilly and Company Announce Launch and Board of Advisors

SEATTLE, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative today announced its first acquisition of compounds for further development into tuberculosis (TB) drug candidates. Agreements were reached with Summit plc (LSE: SUMM) of Oxfordshire, UK, and the Microbial Chemistry Research Foundation (MCRF) of Tokyo for two compounds that have shown potential in initial testing.

The announcement marked the commencement of the Initiative's work and the opening of new laboratories focused on early drug discovery for TB. It also coincided with the first meeting of the non-profit organization's Board of Advisors and Scientific Steering Committee.

The Lilly TB Drug Discovery Initiative is a public-private partnership with the goal of filling the early-stage pipeline for future drug development. Created in June 2007, the Initiative's primary members are Eli Lilly and Company, the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"I've seen first-hand the toll that TB takes on families in all corners of the world. People think of TB as a disease of the past, but with extensive spread of resistance to current drugs and without rapid development of new drugs, TB will be a disease of the future everywhere, including here in the U.S.," said Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners In Health and Harvard Medical School, who sits on the Initiative's Board of Advisors.

The access this public-private Initiative has to proprietary chemical libraries of compounds is unique. The Initiative will accelerate identification of new clinical candidates by bringing together specialists from around the world for the systematic exploration of vast, private molecular libraries. It will bring t
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